Synonyms are words that have similar meanings.
Word study with synonyms begins as early as kindergarten. Students learn that synonyms have similar but not identical meanings and begin to organize synonyms from weakest to strongest to show shades of meaning. Word study with synonyms and shades of meaning continues as students’ vocabularies increase, and provides opportunities for students to relate words to their opposites (antonyms) as well.
Common Core State Standards Related to Synonyms
Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs describing the same general action (e.g., walk, march, strut, prance) by acting out the meanings.
Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs differing in manner (e.g., look, peek, glance, stare, glare, scowl) and adjectives differing in intensity (e.g., large, gigantic) by defining or choosing them or by acting out the meanings.
Distinguish shades of meaning among closely related verbs (e.g., toss, throw, hurl) and closely related adjectives (e.g., thin, slender, skinny, scrawny).
Distinguish shades of meaning among related words that describe states of mind or degrees of certainty (e.g., knew, believed, suspected, heard, wondered).
Demonstrate understanding of words by relating them to their opposites (antonyms) and to words with similar but not identical meanings (synonyms).
Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonyms, antonyms, homographs) to better understand each of the words.
3-5 Synonyms: split, passive, cold, dry, hot, active, join, fast, slow, wet
6-8 Synonyms: settled, justify, desert, alert, sleepy, reproach, remain, hovered, urban, rural
9-12 Synonyms: encourage, exotic, restrict, inadvertent, flippant, respectful, dishearten, familiar, indulge, deliberate
VocabularySpellingCity.com provides word lists, printables, and interactive games and activities that give students the opportunity to distinguish and understand shades of meaning between synonyms.
Try TeachMe More with the 3-5 Synonyms list.